Officials concerned with condition of levee after flood

Officials concerned with condition of levee after flood
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - The severe weather and flooding over the weekend brought a sense of urgency to officials in Randolph County.

Crews have been working to shore up the Black River Levee.

It has been almost a year since major flooding hit the county, but the levee has still not been built up to its pre-flood state.

Pocahontas Mayor Kary Story said there has been plenty of favorable weather for the work to be done, but crews did not begin any work until last week.

With the heavy rain over the weekend, more attention has been put on the current state of the levee.

"I would rather us stay in the dry period and not have this concern," Story said. "This is a major concern that affects people's lives and I have not stopped pushing from day one."

The final fix to the levee may not come for several years.

The 205 Continuing Authorities Program study would help find a solution for problems with the levee. However, movement on the study has not been made.

Story said the county and city have had several meetings with state and federal representatives, but nothing has been done.

Pocahontas and Randolph County have their funding ready for the study, Story said. But they have yet to be approved for federal funding.

Story is asking residents to lend a hand in the effort to get the funding.

"We need some help from our local citizens to voice their opinions and let their federal representation and their state representation know that we need to be put to the forefront on this study," Story said.

Story said recently they have received some help from Governor Asa Hutchinson and U.S. Senator Tom Cotton. The two have been working as liaisons between the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and the city and county.

Once the study is approved, it will take at least a year to be completed, at which time work could begin on the levee once funding is available.

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